Brescia's Sandro Tonali Not Scared by €300M Price Tag Amid Transfer Rumours

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2019

GENOA, ITALY - OCTOBER 26: Sandro Tonali of Brescia Calcio celebrates after goal 0-1 during the Serie A match between Genoa CFC and Brescia Calcio at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on October 26, 2019 in Genoa, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Rattini/Getty Images)
Paolo Rattini/Getty Images

Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali said he is not intimidated by the €300 million (£256 million) price tag placed on him by owner Massimo Cellino. 

Amid rumours linking the 19-year-old with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United and Inter Milan, Cellino said any prospective suitors will have to meet that outlandish figure to sign him.

Tonali told Rai Sport (h/t Goal's Sacha Pisani):

"I love president Cellino very much, and he rates me highly. He's a great person, and I hope to travel down a good road with him.

"After the match against Fiorentina, he said he wouldn't even sell me for €300 million, but that doesn't scare me, even if it really is a lot of money.

"I'm confident about what we'll do this season. For now I'm not thinking about the market, I just want to help Brescia stay up."

The youngster caught the eye last season, despite playing with Brescia in Serie B.

Although he only made his senior Italy debut in October this year, he earned his first call-up in November last year while playing in the second tier.

A technically gifted deep-lying playmaker, Tonali is already drawing comparisons with former Italy, Juventus and AC Milan great Andrea Pirlo:

Premier Sports 📺 @PremierSportsTV

Is Sandro Tonali the heir apparent of Andrea Pirlo? The regista scored his first Serie A goal for Brescia last week and already being touted as the 'new' Pirlo 🦁 A bright future ahead 🌟 #SerieA | @footballitalia https://t.co/LNQIwUtXoz

Pirlo had a talent for free-kicks, and Tonali evidently shares that skill:

Premier Sports 📺 @PremierSportsTV

Sandro Tonali with the goal of the day in #SerieA yesterday! 🔥 Incredible from the 19 year old! 😍 #SerieA | @footballitalia https://t.co/hxqkBJz4GD

Tonali has accepted the inevitable comparisons, though he also feels he shares qualities with one of Pirlo's former Azzurri and Milan team-mates:

Goal @goal

🗣 Italy debutant Sandro Tonali isn't shying away from expectations: "There are similarities with Pirlo in a way but I also add a lot of a grit in there, so maybe more Gattuso" 🇮🇹 https://t.co/mFqUILeXHw

The teenager looks to dictate games from deep and create opportunities for his team-mates, but he's also more robust and aggressive in his play than Pirlo was, and he's not short of pace, either.

Football statistician Dave O'Brien shared his numbers from Brescia's 2-1 defeat to Napoli in September, in which he had a superb strike disallowed following VAR review:

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Sandro Tonali’s game by numbers vs. Napoli: 80% pass accuracy 5 chances created 3/3 tackles won 2 big chances created 1 assist Special. 🇮🇹 https://t.co/zspg14HC6K

If Tonali continues to impress, it may only be a matter of time before he's signed by a more illustrious side. He'll likely be available for much less than €300 million in reality, but it will nevertheless require a significant sum to prise him away.

In the meantime, it seems he'll be concentrating on his football, which can only help his development.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.